A real graphite drawing by MONAVINCI

Graphite drawings are a popular art form and are best known for the “metal effect” that occurs when drawing. An artistic graphite drawing is ideal for almost lifelike portraits, because with the help of the so-called graphite pencils, both fine lines and wide areas can be hatched. In the end, these result in a fascinating, photorealistic work of art.

At MONAVINCI, your graphite drawing based on your most beautiful photo is still created by hand by our professional artists, who are at home in developing countries. Here, far away from digital image processing and fast-moving times, our "Leonardo da Vincis" still work with traditional techniques of photo-realistic graphite drawing and create a real masterpiece from a picture.

But what actually is graphite and what makes a graphite drawing so appealing? We at MONAVINCI invite you to discover the secrets of graphite and get excited about your very own painting.

The basis of a graphite drawing: graphite

Graphite is a mineral, but at the same time it is assigned to the elements because, like diamonds, it consists of pure carbon. Depending on where it occurs, graphite is light grey, dark gray to black. The metallic shine that characterizes the graphite drawing is particularly characteristic.

Graphite has long been used in conjunction with clay to make pencil leads. The writing utensil got its name from the time when lead was actually used to produce leads, until it was discovered that long-term use was harmful to health. Unlike a diamond, graphite is much softer in nature and is therefore ideal for artistic use. When rubbed over a material, the graphite leaves a greyish to black tint - the property used to create a graphite drawing.

Our MONAVINCI artists use the raw material graphite to create unique graphite drawings that can hardly be distinguished from a real photo. Our graphite drawing is popular mainly because of the filigree lines and the silvery effect that is created when drawing. Of course, our professionals use the right tools for this.

The tools for a graphite drawing

There are so-called graphite pencils especially for graphite drawings. In contrast to pencils, these do not have a wooden casing and are round or square in shape.

Graphite pencils are primarily aimed at artists, while pencils are generally used. What they have in common is that both models are available in different degrees of hardness. This allows elements of a graphite drawing to be made lighter or darker.

Graphite pencils are particularly suitable when large to medium-sized areas are to be created. These best bring out the desired metallic effect. For fine details, on the other hand, our MONAVINCI artists like to use pencils, so that both tools are used for a graphite drawing. As with charcoal, the graphite particles lie more loosely on the paper, which is why they must be fixed at the end in any case.

Our artists from MONAVINCI have mastered the fine art of drawing with graphite pencils and can thus create a photo-realistic work of art with a silver gloss effect with the utmost perfection, which is guaranteed to inspire you.

Two popular techniques in graphite drawing

Even the great artists of their time used various techniques to achieve special effects, contrasts and sharpness. Due to its nature, graphite is ideal for various processing options. With the help of these, our modern Leonardo da Vincis achieve the incredible effect of a photo-realistic graphite drawing.


A popular variant is the so-called blurring. Larger areas are first hatched with a graphite pencil and then smudged with a finger or with the help of paper wipers such as estompen. This creates different pronounced gradients and depths of focus. Contrasts between light and dark areas bring a graphite drawing to life. Our artists usually use finger smudging for large to medium-sized areas, while fine details can be better staged with the support of Estomps.

You can also use an eraser to erase certain areas in order to set brighter accents. Light areas of the graphite drawing can be added and exciting highlights can be set with circular movements. Particularly fine detail corrections are created with an eraser pen. In addition, there are so-called kneaded erasers, which are particularly suitable for lightening graphite drawings and with which it is possible to work light reflections into the drawing.


Shading is also a technique that is often used when creating a graphite drawing. The graphite is applied in light circular movements. This allows you to create smooth transitions that flow into each other, resulting in soft contours. It is also characteristic that the structure of the paper comes to light when shading. You work with the wide side of the graphite pencil. Our MONAVINCI artists use different degrees of hardness to create different effects in your photorealistic painting when drawing graphite.

The way to your own personal graphite drawing

If you would like to give yourself or a loved one a special treat with a handmade graphite drawing, you can easily order it from us. After you have determined the style, the quality and the size, you can easily upload your favorite photo and we will commission one of our professional illustrators. This allows your graphite drawing to be created in real manual work.

We work exclusively with artists from developing countries who receive above-average wages from us and can therefore live from their art. Not only does it make us happy that customers give us so much positive feedback - we are also proud to make a small but important difference in this world and to be able to reach out to people with our shared passion for art despite the long distance.

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